Project Info

This three year research programme focuses on the practicalities and implications of housing downsizing for people in mid-life and in retirement.

We know very little about the practicalities of different forms of housing and housing equity downsizing in New Zealand. Yet older people and their families are already making complex decisions about ageing in place or downsizing, largely unguided about how to assess the net financial and social benefits to them. There is limited and often confusing information about downsizing options.

Some questions that the research will address are:

  • What does the term ‘downsizing’ mean to people and what are their expectations of downsizing?
  • What are the costs and risks of downsizing?
  • What are the benefits of downsizing?
  • Is downsizing a practical way to maintain standard of living, supplement retirement income and optimise independence?
  • What about downsizing for people living in rental accommodation?
  • Is downsizing harder or easier in different locations?
  • What information do people need to make better decisions around their housing needs and housing assets?

It has two objectives:

Getting Best Fit: Optimising Older People’s Use of their Housing Assets: To optimise the living standards, well-being and resilience benefits from older people’s housing assets by establishing the use and financial value of housing assets, the practicalities of housing and equity downsizing, its spill-overs and externalities, and the differential exposure of older people to risks and benefits according to place, socio-economic, familial, cultural, and housing circumstances and attachments.

Stay, Go, Downsize Tools for Better Decisions: To improve the financial literacy of older people and enable them to make better decisions around their housing and housing assets through two evidence-based, collaboratively developed and tested tools: Selecting Good Homes for Good, Long Lives Guidelines; and Staying, Going, Downsizing Ready Reckoner.



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